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HI RED CENTER – Assemble (Joyful Noise)

Posted: February 12th, 2009, by Pascal Ansell

Ah, shucks. It’s always going to be difficult because the stuff that hasn’t been done before has all been done before. Know what I mean? Look at Volcano! And Deerhoof for that matter. Just look at them! Where do you go from there?

To the point then. Hi Red Center come from New York and are on the Joyful Noise label that lives up to its name. In comes HRC’s Second album ‘Assemble’ is a treat, but there are holes.

This album glitters and sparkles. It’s a hall of mirrors where you occasionally get tripped up, clothes snagged but ultimately it’s an exhilarated by the jarringly fun tour. Track six it grew on me like the rash on my neck: give me Chicken Gorlet anytime because this song is brilliantly addictive.

They have tackled the Deerhoof approach not in the naïvest of ways (cutesy melodies, sparse and interchangeable dynamics) yet they haven’t really pulled it off. While I’m at it there’s a rather too noticeable use of the Deerhoof rubato i.e. the whopping loosness of rhythm, the holding back… until the niggling smash and wallop of instruments. It doesn’t quite convince. But to hell with it: this review is too full of doesn’ts and haven’ts and rashes – this makes cracking listening and I may be hoping for a bit too much. Songwriting takes precedence from experimentation, and the attempted sound is just not quite their own. But note the ‘quite’. This is a very decent album – HRC are on their way to making something pretty special.

I’m going to the doctor by the way. About the rash.

Hi Red Center

Pascal Ansell

Pascal Ansell

Pascal is a fearsome, hungry giant trapped in the body of a hyperactive boy. On a mission to waste no more than 14 seconds per day, he bounds from activity to activity like a deer being chased by a cheetah. Follow him now, as in ten year's time he'll be a leading voice in something or other. He's also writing down every word you say in a small book so watch out!


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